Best laid plans, and all. For the fourth, we were set to drive up north for the big family picnic and barbecue, and we even drove almost half way there before I realized I had forgotten my medications, which include high blood pressure meds, and birth control pills. Two things I need to take on time. At that point our options were 1) turn around and make the trek back home, pick up the meds, then turn around again and, at 11:30pm get back in the car and drive the full three hours to the hotel we had booked near the event, or 2) drive home and start again early the next morning in order to make it to the picnic on time, then drive back home… more than six hours of driving in one day, after having driven nearly three hours the night before.

Even though I know my forgetting the pills was not intentional, I had honestly been dreading all day the drive and the event. First, that drive is and will most likely always be a trigger. Blue Eyes made that drive for business numerous times with the OW including the time he had me terrified something had happened to him after not contacting me for hours because he was with her and she was threatening him, plus the drive nearly two years ago when he broke things off with her ultimately prompting the phone call, d-day, my life being turned upside, yada yada. I want to be through with these triggers, I really really do, but no matter how consciously I tried to block them as we were driving along the freeway, the more I tried to push them to the back of my mind, away and to a safe place, the more I could feel my chest tightening as we drove. I also dreaded being around approximately 30 family members and once again pretending everything is normal. Things are not “normal” and although most of my family is completely unaware, they say things that trigger me and make me feel like I am living a lie and it is difficult to pretend. Our company employs two of my siblings, one that knows, and one that doesn’t. As I have mentioned before, the family knows Blue Eyes is struggling and has cut all contact with his abusive family and that he has been going to regular therapy, but they don’t know the real story. I know one day I will reach that point where it no longer tears me apart inside to feel like I am lying by omission to my family. There are many things they do not need to know, but I am not a hider or a secret keeper by nature, and that part is difficult for me. I am not afraid of their judgment, or pity. I know my family, and they know me. The person none of us really knew, was Blue Eyes. Blue Eyes has agreed that we can tell my family the truth if that would help my healing. But just when I think I want to shout my story from the rooftops, I remember how painful it is to do so, and I keep my mouth shut. What is the lesser of the two evils, divulging the secret, or keeping it… not sure there is an answer to that question because it is all evil.

We decided to take the less stressful option and stay home, but there seemed to be something off about the day. Maybe I was still questioning my lack of strength under the circumstances, I am often too hard on myself, expecting too much too soon, maybe it is hormones. Seriously, I am pretty sure I am in menopause, having gone five full months now without a cycle. I feel like I need to blame my recent relapse on something. Blue Eyes is doing fine. Still waiting to complete his fifth step with his sponsor and a friend, but it is scheduled and happening this week. Blue Eyes is loving and kind. He tries really diligently to keep all his boundaries in tact. But he does still struggle with being independent and focusing on healthy mindful behaviors to fill his time. I know he does not really know himself well. I know in the past that when he was ungrounded and he needed to reach inside himself for strength, his addiction won out and he acted out, instead of connecting with the mindful, spiritual, good, clean, honest, and moral soul deep inside. He let the dark side win. He is fighting for a chance to stay out in the light with me.

Not traveling up north left us with an entire day to relax and do whatever we wanted, which should have been nice, right? Our son even went off to a friend’s house for the holiday, so Blue Eyes and I had plenty of time to be playful (i.e., naked). The day, unfortunately, felt completely unbalanced to me. I don’t really even remember what started my downward slide, but I could feel it coming. I could feel myself reaching out to Blue Eyes for answers, for support in my time of pain knowing it was a fruitless endeavor. Sunday was the one year mark of mine and Blue Eyes trip to Camilla’s workplace. The Reconnaissance Mission, or our stakeout, if you will, of the hospital parking garage. My first real glimpse of the woman my husband was willing to throw me under the bus for. And, it was then, on that July evening, (with my broken partner of 30 years reclining by my side in a stocking cap and sunglasses on a dark, warm summer night) that I realized my husband would never risk anything for that woman, but he would risk everything for his addiction. There is some sick part of me that feels like if I could just talk to Camilla, convince her that I am not the person my husband described, that he only did that to protect his secret drug, that I never neglected anyone, that I literally poured everything I have into my marriage and my family, that I am the innocent victim in this, that I feel like I am lying naked on the floor, bleeding to death from the wounds inflicted on me by my husband, and no one is coming to my aid. I want her to understand ME, the real me, not the person Blue Eyes conjured up in his addictive state. But I know this will never happen and I know it is not Camilla that needs to be convinced. Camilla is not a stable person. But more than that, she means nothing to me. It is only because I am still broken that I would care what this stranger thinks about me. Not only that, I have learned from my dear blogger friends how dangerous it can be to reach out to a delusional woman and try to be reasonable.

After I spent a good two hours of our precious day together sobbing, Blue Eyes made us a delicious dinner and we ate out on the deck together. I was still not completely over my break down. We talked about a number of the ways in the past that Blue Eyes had deflected his own sense of shame, and guilt, and self absorption onto me. In the past, I did not take it seriously. He would make jokes at my expense. He would belittle me, always in a joking way, in front of my family. Not all the time, of course, just when he was feeling ungrounded or less than self assured and he built himself up that way. He learned that one up/one down behavior from his narcissistic mother. Well, it’s my fucking family and I know they know and love me for who I am and so I never thought it bothered me, but I do have the memory of an elephant, and maybe it did bother me but I was unwilling to consciously acknowledge it. Even at couple’s therapy Blue Eyes has said things I felt he was saying just to make himself feel better, or to deflect off of him and on to me. For example, at a session last month, he told Ms. Second Chance that sometimes he “worries” about me now because he returns home from work and I am still in my “pajamas” and I haven’t taken a shower and I am “hunched over my computer.” Well, I would imagine even my blog followers remember from past posts that I do not wear “pajamas.” I also do not take showers every day. My skin and my hair are excruciatingly dry. I am a clean person, but showers dry me out. It has nothing to do with being depressed. I have always been this way. Blue Eyes knows this, but society says we cannot wear pajamas all day (in this case I guess he is considering shorts and a t-shirt, or sweats and a t-shirt pajamas?) and we should all shower every day. Saying these things to a marriage counselor and implying they are signs of depression in your spouse, when you know the therapist already wants to somehow blame the spouse for the addict’s inability to focus on themselves and their own recovery, is pure and simple, manipulation. Do I know this? Can I recognize this as it is happening? Well, fuck yes. But here are my options. Wait until after the therapy appointment and discuss with Blue Eyes how I recognize he is deflecting and maybe he should discuss his behavior with his personal therapist (which I did). Or, I can bring it up during the therapy session and no matter how mature or together I am or I sound, I will be accused of being petty and not recognizing my own signs of depression, which has also happened. Many times the therapist has actually said, “you sound defensive, maybe we have hit a nerve here.” Yes, the nerve you have hit is my fucking bullshit meter going off the charts.

As we were eating dinner on Saturday, I explained to Blue Eyes how he must think now about everything he says and why he is saying it. No more careless words thrown out not because he doesn’t love me, or he thinks I deserve to be ridiculed, or gaslighted, or blamed, but because he, himself, the guy who is suffering from the “disease of me” as he so often likes to describe it, must be aware of how his words and actions hurt me. They really hurt me. Deflection and rationalization are no longer part of our marriage. I can’t and won’t have it. I have done nothing wrong and I won’t be deflected to. He cannot use me as his patsy or his scapegoat because it is too difficult to really connect with himself on an intimate level to determine exactly where his words and actions are coming from. I would rather wait 15 minutes for a responsible, mature, mindful, self aware answer than have him blurt out some inane, “I’m sorry,” or “that must make you feel so bad.” It all matters to me now. Everything I was able to brush aside before, because I knew he was insecure and lacked coping skills in certain circumstances but I also knew he wouldn’t hurt me, will no longer be ignored, or excused. His words and actions feel horrible now, because now, I know he is willing to hurt me in pursuit of his drug. He has some really bad habits and habits are a bitch to change and the only way to do it, is by replacing old bad habits with new good ones. I absofuckinglutely hate being a punching bag for his old bad habits.

mountain in the sky

I know there is really some other reason I want the other woman to know the truth. I actually really want her to just be gone forever, literally wiped off the face of the planet, but knowing that is not going to happen, maybe the other woman represents everyone, and telling her my truth represents justice. Maybe the fact that my partner, the person I love most in the world, would betray me so deeply has left a bigger hole than I can consciously absorb, and maybe somehow I still think his betrayal represents a weakness in me, because his hurtful and deflective words have left their mark, lingering there in the back of my mind. Deep inside I know I am still climbing my own mountain out of the darkness and there are days when I have literally run out of energy. Maybe the other woman represents all the ways in which my husband used me as the fall guy for his own brokenness, and thinking about the other woman is just deflection from my personal journey of healing, which feels like Mount fucking Everest right now.

There’s nothing where he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That’s what’s goin’ on
Nothing’s right I’m torn

I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I’m wide awake and I can see
The perfect sky is torn

I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed
Bound and broken on the floor
You’re a little late
I’m already torn

14 thoughts on “Torn

  1. Pingback: I’m not good enough | try not to cry on my rainbow

  2. It is a mountain we are climbing and we keep getting snagged on the same rocks. No silver bullet for us just continuous mental anguish. Don’t think about making contact with OW. Retain your grace and dignity. Just like your husband is responsible for his choices the OW is responsible for hers but she won’t see it the way you do. They tell themselves little delusional stories that prop up their egos. You won’t penetrate this. Shame doesn’t enter their heads. We carry this (for no reason I can understand). Good days, bad days – sounds like it was better that you avoided the family event. On a better day you may have felt stronger and able to handle it. Be kind to yourself- you are in post op recovery.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know you are 100% correct. And I do have to stop beating myself up for not being able to act like everything is okay, much less be in a place where everything IS okay. As they say, time heals all wounds? I think I will have a whole lot of scar tissue on these wounds. Thanks for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have known since mid-March 2014 the exit my SAWH used to get to his strip club and stripper of choice. No matter what route we take from home to cottage we have to pass it. I can’t say my trigger of seeing the road name has lessened at all yet. I close my eyes, I play with my phone, do anything for distraction but it is ALWAYS there. I don’t know when that will end. He is doing well in recovery (CSAT, groups, etc) but still doesn’t seem to grasp the depth of pain his actions have caused.

    He saw her regularly for 1 1/2 years. Not the same really as your husband but I would so love to go in and ask her if she’s missing her wallet and what she’s going to do when this gig ends (she’s 36) but what good would it do? None. She’s broken and I just give her more power. Blue Eyes’ paramour is also broken – and actually sounds quite twisted – and you need to take back your power (easier said than done I know).

    It all just sucks no matter how we look at it. And we (I) shouldn’t be so hurt by now. What part of you knew for 20 years what you were doing and I have known for 4 months and need time to process do you not get????


    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve penned two different responses to your comment, DSL and then felt like they just didn’t say what I was feeling. So, here I am again. When I first read this it brought tears to my eyes. Tears because I know how horrible it feels to have to drive by a trigger, but also how horrible it feels to even have triggers and wonder why we can’t just get past it. I have many of those here in town… the exit to her house off the freeway, the hospital where she works that is less than two miles from my parent’s house and where both my father and brother have been hospitalized, and of course, the airport… the biggest trigger of all where I dropped my husband for their many trips together. Like daggers. Our husbands are recovering. They are not doing it anymore. It wasn’t about us. They are broken and thankful there is a path to recovery, but… it just doesn’t heal the wounds. I fear only time will be able to do that. I still feel like my husband’s not getting the depth of my pain comes from a place of self preservation. I want him to feel how I feel, but I have always been compassionate and empathetic. He had to shut off those emotions in order to cope in his own messed up reality. Then there are the years of lying and betrayal. No matter how you look at it, it does suck. It’s a lot for them, and it is a lot for us. Many days I just feel confusion and deep pain. I see him coming around, but I notice even that does not erase my pain. Step by step we’ll get there. Blue Eyes’ OW is a mess. I don’t know how a person can behave the way she does, but I have not lived her life. Blue Eyes never should have brought her into my life. I blame him for that. All along he rationalized away her personality disorder, her addictions, her aggressiveness, and her manipulation and blackmail. The man who did all that cannot be the man I have loved for 30+ years. It just does not compute. Some days I want justice for myself. I want her to know that the sick game they were playing was only between them. I did not play a part. I am not to blame for anything. I never neglected my husband. I was not mean to him. I burn inside knowing I will never get the chance to tell this woman my truth. I know she would not believe me anyway. I only feel this way when something else is going on inside me. Whereas my husband has little ability to self reflect, I self reflect too much. I think and obsess too much. I need to practice what I preach and re-direct myself to more positive activities.

      I think it’s not that they don’t get our pain or how long it will take us to heal, it’s that it is difficult for them to bear that shame and guilt and they don’t want to have to and they have been self medicating for so many years. Without their drug, life is a bitch. Much ❤ and hugs to you!


  4. I didn’t speak to the other woma , but I texted her. I don’t think it helped. I learned for example how stupid she was, and that my husban left me for someone that was just a few points above retarted did not make me feel better. I was also furious for her telling me that my husband loved me but that I should just try being more sexy. Even writing about it now burns me up. But I am glad that she lives with te knowledge that she is a catalyst of the breakdown of my marriage. I’m glad I told her I was thinking of ending my life, because I wanted her to live with the knowledge that she was party to the crushing of my soul. Really Kat, these women deserve a special place in hell. Of course they don’t act alone, but it disgusts me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, C. I cannot imagine my husband actually leaving for any of the crazy women he slept with. That has not been a part of this fiasco. I would think at this point you are much better off without him as you deserve so much more than a serial cheater in your life. Some days I feel the same. And, what a lovely girl, telling you to try and be more sexy. If only worthwhile relationships were even that simple. She does seem quite dimwitted. If only they actually “got” the pain and destruction they helped to perpetrate, but I fear they are so self absorbed they couldn’t possibly. Thank goodness you are well past all that! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes him leaving me was a blessing in disguise.?i understand that now, but back then it was just so awful. I still have my bad days, but it had gotten better.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can only imagine the pain you went through and I was not in any way trying to minimize it, just trying to look at the “bright” side after the fact. So sorry if it felt any different. It is so difficult to separate ourselves from who we are and what we thought we had, and what they are and what they did, and what was not real. Hopefully you meant to say, it HAS gotten better. I have the choice to walk away and some days I want to take it, but I can’t imagine the agony of going through all the pain and feeling like my choices have been taken from me. I hope that if that happened to me, I would realize that just by making that decision (to leave me) Blue Eyes would surely be a lost cause. Years ago when Blue Eyes was fired, he was devastated. It turned out literally to be one of the best things that ever happened to him. I know it sounds cliche, but true. Speaking of jobs, I am so excited for you!!! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh I didn’t take it that way lol, despite all the crap, I truly believe everything happens for a reason. My story is far from over and there is plenty of time to have a happy ending. Actually there is sort of an interesting prospect on the table at the moment… But we shall see 😉
            Yes can’t wait to start my new job on Monday! I think I’m going to call in sick tomorrow and go shopping for something pretty for my first day. I can b a slacker now, it’s what I do best lol,

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oh yes, the lame duck, lol. I hope you post a picture of your purchases. Are you home now? I am still drooling over all the chocolate chip cookies! Also, I am intrigued by the interesting prospect (as long as it is not the cabbie… those long distance relationships are such a pain, ha 😉 ).

              Liked by 1 person

              • No not the cabbie, but even a darker horse… It may turn to nothing though. I am going to write all about the chocolate chip cookies ❤️🍪❤️🍪❤️

                Liked by 1 person

  5. I identified so much with this post. After spending a week with my husband’s family — dealing with unintended triggers while they all remained blissfully unaware of their son/brother’s misdeeds, I think you were wise to avoid the gathering but I’m sorry that you were unable to avoid pain. I want all of this to be easier, I’m sick of struggling, wasting time and thoughts on something that I didn’t break. Our husbands are lucky to have us, that much is clear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so sorry you could identify with this kind of pain, but I get it. I do agree, they ARE very lucky. I hate feeling these feelings and I merely want to be able to move forward. I have forgiven, but the trauma of this whole ordeal will not let me forget so easily and I still can’t fully comprehend the level of betrayal. I realize it all takes time. I wish you much strength while your husband is away. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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